For this second blog in our series on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome I will focus on prevention and self-care. Our original blog on this topic, which offered an alternative perspective on CTS, spoke about hand positioning and biomechanics as primary causes of CTS symptoms. One of the great things about such a perspective is that each individual is empowered to make simple adjustments in hand positioning and movement to prevent and alleviate pain and numbness. It is not necessary to have a medical degree or surgery to effectively address these issues. Watch this video to learn how:
As you see, the 4 stretches in this video address the wrist, palm, fingers and thumb – all vital areas with regards to CTS. This video was made so that you can do the stretches along with me. I allowed 20 seconds for each stretch, but if you want to go longer, that’s good too. Just remember, as with any type of stretching, start slowly. Rushing things and pushing past your limits will only delay recovery and may make the problem worse. Stretch only to the threshold of discomfort. Stay here and breathe. Try to relax the affected area. And, if you ever have any questions about these stretches, please contact me. I’m always available to assist anyone using my products or following my stretching programs. In the unlikely event that you experience a worsening of your symptoms, discontinue immediately.
Along with stretching, correct biomechanics are essential for the health and happiness of the wrist and hand. As I emphasized in the previous blog, keeping the hand open is essential. The “big hands” stretch that I demonstrate in this video can be done anywhere anytime. For those experiencing carpal tunnel problems, this exercise is a must. As you go about your daily routine, be aware if your hands are clenched or closed in. One important place to pay attention to this is while sleeping. I often recommend that patients wedge their open hands under a pillow, or their own bodies, to keep the hands open throughout the night. Once you retrain your hands to stay open and loose, you’re well on your way to feeling better forever.